Diamantina Institute, University of Queensland (UQDI)
Contact me for
- Sitting on boards or committees
- Providing an expert opinion
- Outreach activities
- Conference presenting
- Opportunities to collaborate
I am passionate in advocacy for the use of programming by life scientists. In fact, I am self-taught learner in bioinformatics, applying Python and R for my NGS analysis.
I am the founder of the Brisbane PyLadies chapter, a mentorship group with a focus on helping more women become active participants and leaders in the Python open-source community. Our mission is to promote and advance a diverse Python community through social events (workshops, networking, mentoring).
From 2015 to 2018, I received a fellowship for characterizing the gut microbiota of patients with sporadic and hereditary Colorectal Cancer (CRC). This gave me the opportunity to apply my bioinformatic knowledge. Also, I have worked as a Bioinformatician at the European Institute of Oncology, based in Milan (Italy), but I then realized the academic career was the right path for me.
Now, I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Diamantina Institute, University of Queensland, where I work with A/Prof. Antje Blumenthal's lab on characterizing the cellular target of a new class of antitubercular compounds. The method I apply is based on Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) of resistant isolates. This method is not biased by prior expectations of gene essentiality, and instead is driven by empirical observations of cellular processes whose inhibition leads to cell death.
The combination of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) and rapid selection and identification of resistance mutations enables this method to be scaled-up effectively to allow fore genome-wide surveys of novel inhibitor-target pairs. Each target is effectively pre-validated by demonstrating that the chemical inhibition of the protein leads to cell stasis or death. This approach effectively minimizes resource requirements and can be used for compounds for which there is limited supply.
The identification of new cellular targets has the potential to guide future rational drug design and discovery of new antibiotics and combination treatments. Outcomes of my research will define whether resistance to new antitubercular compromise current antibiotics used for Tuberculosis (TB) treatment. This is important, as any new TB drug would be introduced into the clinic in combination with currently approved antibiotics.